[haw-info] appeal for support of Maati Monjib, Moroccan historian and human rights activist
Support Maati Monjib, Moroccan Historian and Human Rights Activist
Maati Monjib, the embattled Moroccan historian and human rights activist, has once again begun a hunger strike (as of Oct. 6) to protest being denied the right to leave Morocco to attend an academic conference in Norway (Oct. 8-11), where he is invited to speak on his specialty, African history. Prof. Monjib has been under attack since April, when he became President of "Freedom Now," which defends the rights of Moroccan journalists.
Details: On Aug. 31, returning from France, he was stopped at Casablanca Airport and informed he was "wanted for harming state security." On Sept. 14, he was interrogated by the National Police and accused, among other things, of "destabilizing citizens' allegiance to the institutions." On Sept. 16, he was blocked at the Casablanca Airport on grounds of "National Security" and prevented from flying to an academic forum in Barcelona, whereupon he began his first hunger strike. On Sept. 19, the Ministry of Interior published a denial that Monjib was barred from leaving the country, but at the same time accused him of financial irregularities, sparking a campaign of slander in the pro-government press: a blatant attempt to turn a political case into a criminal case!
You can help by sending a message to the Moroccan Ambassador: see URLs and sample message below. Also by posting and forwarding this message to your networks.
BACKGROUND: Monjib is active internationally as a scholar having taught in the U.S. (Univ. of Florida, Brookings Institution) and participated in conferences throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, where he is known for his articulate defense of the values of democracy, human rights, and internationalism. Monjib directs the Ibn Rochd ["Averoes" in English] Center in Rabat, where he is Professor at the Institute of African Studies. He holds two doctorates (Univ. Paul Valéry, Montpellier, FR; Univ. of Dakar, SENEGAL) and is the author of four books (in French) and numerous articles in French and Arabic.
When Monjib and other journalists founded "Freedom Now" last April, the government quickly deprived their Association of legal status by simply refusing to process their application. For months Monjib has been the object of a systematic campaign of outrageous personal and political slander in the press of political parties close to the Throne.
HERE'S HOW TO HELP.
The Monarchy is sensitive to international opinion, and you can put pressure on by writing to the Moroccan Ambassador in London, Washington, or wherever you live. Here's a sample message you can copy/paste right now:
Your Highness/Your Excellency:
"Scholars and journalists around the world are disturbed by reports of harassment of our respected colleague Maati Monjib. Please reassure us that his honor as a scholar and right to travel, speak and write freely will be protected by the Moroccan Monarchy."
Respectfully yours, etc, etc.
They'll get the point.
H.H. Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui
Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Morocco to The Court of Saint James's
Ambassador Rachad Bouhlal